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How Can a Dentist Practice Green Dentistry?

Aug 20, 2008
The world is going green in an effort to save the environment and research is showing that the efforts are working in several different ways. However, there is still a lot of work to do and that means everyone needs to help out in some way. Fortunately, there are tons of ways in which people can help make the world a better place for us all to live. Many dentists have utilized what they call "green dentistry". What a green dentist does is utilize water saving techniques, recycles, and uses other techniques within their office that is environmentally friendly.

Saving water

It is important for a dentist and the staff to wash their hands. However, so much water is wasted every single day in many different establishments. Water is wasted by letting it run when doing something instead of turning it off. You would be amazed how many individuals will wash their hands and leave it running while they dry their hands. You would be also amazed to know how much water is going down the drain while the drying is occurring. Because dentists and their staff have to frequently wash their hands, it is important to turn the water off when it is not in use. To remind everyone, it is good to put a sign at each sink in the office.

Another way in which a green dentist conserves water is by not having sinks in the treatment rooms. This is a form of green dentistry that is occurring in a lot of new offices. The dentists do not have sinks installed in their treatment rooms. Instead, they have a sink installed in one location. This conserves on the materials that are used to build and install the sink. This also helps staff members avoid using the many sinks and accidentally wasting water. It is easier to keep tabs on one sink instead of six or seven. More water is going to be used from six or seven sinks versus just one or two.

A green dentist may also opt to turn the water off at existing sinks within treatment rooms. This will force everyone to use the one sink that is designated for employees. Even for bathroom sinks that are used by the general public, a nice sign that states the office is conserving water can be easily understood. A sign such as, "Please turn off the water when not in use" will get the message across. Taking these measures could conserve up to a gallon of water a minute.

Other techniques

Switching to digital radiography uses less energy than previous methods. You have probably noticed that the world is going digital in many ways such as television and radio. The amount of energy used in transmitting digital radio waves is so much less than analog, which makes it friendlier to the environment. Green dentistry has really taken off in this area because digital radiography is also more effective than previous x-ray methods.

Another way in which green dentistry is making an impact is through recycling. Many offices use paper cups for various reasons. Those paper cups can be recycled. Employees drink beverages throughout the day in both cans and plastic bottles, so a recycling program amongst the employees can be implemented. There's just so much that can be done within the office of a green dentist and a lot of those things are being done. By conserving water, using digital imaging, and recycling the many recyclables that pass through the office of a green dentist, a great impact is made. However, that impact can be made greater as more dentists join the green dentistry movement and help make the world a cleaner and healthier place.
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